Archive for the News Category 134, Loren Rhoads

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on September 17, 2016 by Emerian Rich

HA tagHorror Addicts Episode# 134
Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich
Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe


loren rhoads, gild the morn, the veil

Find all articles and interviews at:

43 days till halloween

scare factor song quiz, win a book, phantoms, halloween decor, costumes, bad alice, cemeteries, statues, loren rhoads,, david watson, scary rooms in movies, underworld blood wars, books, hollow house, greg chapman, the plague pit, alan frewin jones, sarah killian serial killer for hire, mark sheldon, crystal lake publishing, tales from the lake, vol. 3, sumiko saulson, beneath the lake cast, blood of socorro county, sean t. young, through dolls eyes, jesse orr, the artwork, james goodridge, nightmare fuel, dj pitsiladis, phillip experiment, open ghost doors, goth drag king, jean batt, victor/victoria, just one of the guys, morbid meals, dan shaurette, se7en, ants, carbonara, ghastly games, goosebumps, zombie kids, one night ultimate werewolf, one night ultimate vampire, booopoly, vampires of the night, midnight syndicate, zombies board game soundtrack, terror trax, gild the mourn, best band season 10 poll, kbatz, frightening flix, the veil, dead mail, murdo, plague pits, london, carl, office angst, pen, valerie, halloween carol bonus, loren rhoads, lost angels

Scary Rooms – USA Today

Underground Plague Pits

Halloween Carol Bonus

Once Upon a Scream- special edition pack

“Broken Pieces” by Valentine Wolfe blog Kindle syndicated


Write in re: ideas, questions, opinions, horror cartoons, favorite movies, etc…


h o s t e s s

Emerian Rich

s t a f f

David Watson, Stacy Rich, Dan Shaurette, KBatz (Kristin Battestella), Mimielle, Killion Slade, D.J. Pitsiladis, Jesse Orr, A.D. Vick, Lisa Vasquez

Want to be a part of the HA staff? Email

b l o g  / c o n t a c t / s h o w . n o t e s

An Interview With Loren Rhoads

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2016 by David Watson

Our featured author for episode 134 of the Horror Addicts Podcast is Loren Rhoads. Loren had an article in Horror Addicts Guide To Life and has written guest blogs for our blog in the past. Recently we asked Loren a few questions about her writing:

What is your story for episode 134 about?

29741039It comes from my book Lost Angels, which came out earlier this year. The succubus Lorelei sees an angel in her boss’s dance club.  She pursues Azaziel, who inflicts a mortal girl’s soul on her.  Lorelei has to survive Hell’s attacks long enough to find a fallen priest who can exorcise the mortal soul from her infernal body.  The scene I’m reading for the podcast takes place after Lorelei is possessed, when she’s trying to make an alliance with a fiend to protect her until the exorcism.

When did you start writing?

I started writing stories down in junior high, after I discovered the work of Edgar Allan Poe.  My family visited the Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia – and Poe’s dorm room at the University of Virginia – and I realized that he was a real person who wrote real stories.  I’m not sure what I thought created books before that, except that they seemed fully formed objects without humans attached.  Once I figured out that people wrote stories, I wanted to do it too.

What are your favorite topics to write about?

That’s a hard question.  Last year I wrote a space opera trilogy.  This year, I’m completing a series about2148570 angels and devils in the real world.  Next, I’m going to finish a book about a witch doing everything she can to prevent the death of someone she loves.  I’ve written a lot of stories about Alondra’s adventures, which have appeared recently in the books Fright Mare: Women Write Horror and nEvermore!: Tales of Murder, Mystery, and the Macabre.  One of my Alondra stories will appear in Best New Horror in 2017.

I guess my favorite topics are women, because I find the ways they think and interact with the world fascinating.  I’m also interested in love, what it is and how it is used. And I’m interested in traveling, how being out of your familiar space shows you who you really are.

Who or what inspires you?

6355365Strangely enough, I find a lot of inspiration on Facebook.  I’m curious every morning to see what we will be angry about each day. All kidding aside, I’m glad to see the discussions of racism and sexism and how people grapple with those issues.  We’re in a place now where people feel they can speak out, which I think is amazing.  Of course there is a lot of turmoil, but it’s leading to growth.  I find it all riveting: challenging, but ultimately positive.  My stories are my attempts to add to those conversations.

What do you find fascinating about the horror genre?

I’m glad to see so many women bringing their stories to the genre now.  When I was growing up, it was all King, Straub, Streiber, then Clive Barker.  The only well-known woman at the time was Anne Rice, but her vampire books weren’t considered “real” horror.  Now we have Gemma Files and Caitlin Kiernan and Dana Fredsti, Maria Alexander and Lisa Lane and Eden Royce … more women than I can name in a paragraph. No one can deny that they are writing real horror, whatever that means.  And they are all writing such different stories.  I can’t wait to discover more of it.

Could you tell us about the As Above, So Below series?

23130135Originally Lost Angels and Angelus Rose were one massive novel. No one would publish it at that length, so I split it into two books. Black Bed Sheet Books originally published the first book in 2013 as As Above, So Below.  When the rights came back, Brian and I decided that it was time to publish the second – more apocalyptic – half of the story.  Angelus Rose will be coming out on Automatism Press in November 2016.

Could you tell us about your nonfiction writing?

In my not-so-secret other life, I write about visiting graveyards.  As I travel, I always stop into local cemeteries to see how they reflect the cultures that surround them, what’s different and what is similar from place to place. I always like to grab a little peace when I travel, so a graveyard is the perfect place.

In August, my parents took me to the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario to see a couple of plays.  I snuck off one morning to see St. Mark’s Churchyard, which predates the War of 1812.  One of the large flat grave markers is all gouged up.  Apparently, when the church served as a hospital during the War, that gravestone was where the surgeons performed amputations. The marks of their cleavers striking off limbs is still visible, two centuries later.  Great story, right?

18010009At the moment, I’m publishing other people’s stories on my Cemetery Travel blog.  The goal is to gather a collection of them to be published as Death’s Garden Revisited.  I encourage anyone who has had something special happen to them in a graveyard – whether they took a date there or visited the grave of someone meaningful or stopped in while they were on vacation – to get in touch with me at  The call for submissions is here:

What are some of the other books you have available?

The Dangerous Type, Kill By Numbers, and No More Heroes, my space opera trilogy, have been accused of bringing grimdark to outer space.  The books are about surviving in the galaxy after humanity started – and lost – an interstellar war.  They’re available in paperback, as ebooks, or as audiobooks.

My collection of cemetery travel essays, Wish You Were Here, collects my stories from Morbid Curiosity magazine, my cemetery column at Gothic.Net, and from various literary magazines.  The essays range from London to Paris to Prague to Rome and Tokyo, then across the US from Boston to Maui.  A new edition of the book will be coming out from Automatism Press early next year, but for now, the book is still available from Western Legends Press.

976431Back in the misty past, I edited a magazine called Morbid Curiosity.  It published confessional nonfiction essays about all kinds of things, from adventures in modern medicine to grim travel destinations to encounters with serial killers and much, much more.  A collection of my favorite pieces from the zine came out as Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues: True Tales of the Unsavory, Unwise, Unorthodox, and Unusual.  It’s available online as an ebook, but I still have some copies of it in paperback.

Where can we find you online?

My homepage:

My blog:

The As Above page:





Cemetery Travel:

Kbatz: The Veil with Boris Karloff

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on September 15, 2016 by Kristin Battestella


Boris Karloff’s The Veil a Pleasant Paranormal Discovery

by Kristin Battestella


Behind the scenes troubles and production turmoil put an abrupt halt to the 1958 supernatural anthology series The Veil, leaving host Boris Karloff and twelve in the can episodes of surprisingly quality unaired and on the shelf – until recently that is. Who knew?


Eerie music and Gothic castle arches lead to a grand fireplace complete with Mr. Karloff introducing these tales of supposedly true but unexplainable stories, and “Vision of Crime” provides a shipbound moment of clairvoyance and murder between brothers. The hackneyed old ladies fall a little flat, however Karloff and a pre-Avengers Patrick Macnee have some fun with the incompetent constabulary. In addition to hosting, Karloff acts in all but one episode of The Veil, and deduction on derringers, opportunity, and motive with a whiff of the fantastic help solve the case. “Girl on the Road” may seem then-contemporary slow to start with fifties innocence and a dame having car trouble in need of a man to fix all. Thankfully, roadside drinks, suspicious phone calls, and looking over her shoulder fears hook the audience into waiting for Karloff’s mysterious arrival and the paranormal plot turn. While the trail leads to where we already suspected, the simmering mood keeps The Veil entertaining. Likewise, ship captain Boris serves up some deadly seafaring adventures with a side of poisonous snakes to his wife in “Food on the Table.” The disposal is for a pretty barmaid recently come into wealth – and of course, supernatural consequences follow. Again, the story may be familiar but the characters and performances see the viewer through the twenty odd minutes. An Italian setting adds flair in “The Doctor” alongside aging physician Karloff and his prodigal son. Stubborn superstitions versus new medical treatments leave a sick child’s life in the balance, and I actually didn’t see this twist coming.



Ironically, the French accents are iffy rather than flavorful in “Crystal Ball,” but hey, when your upward mobile lady friend-zones you for your boss at least you get the eponymous gift, right? The foretelling effects are really quite nice with smoky swirls, upside down visuals, and distorted reflections. Moulin Rouge meetin’ Uncle Boris adds to the saucy scandals, and naturally, our two timing mademoiselle gets what she deserves. Rival brothers, contesting wills, lawyer Karloff, family violence, and ghostly biblical warnings anchor “Genesis,” however “Destination Nightmare” has a different opening and introduction before its dreams and mysterious pilot sightings. Crashes, parachute errors, and propeller sputters add to the fears, fine flying effects, and wild toppers while rising temperatures and New York bustle make for some murderous window views in “Summer Heat.” The crime may not be what it seems, yet silence during the observations add to the helpless feelings. It’s nice to see such fifties coppers confronted with the unexplained in their investigation, too. Despite the unique India 1928 setting and Eastern philosophies, “Return of Madame Vernoy” feels western fake thanks to bad casting. I mean, sure he likes to tan, but George Hamilton?! Fortunately, remembering past lives and reincarnations remain an interesting concept. Do you go back to the living the life before and contact family from the past? Can you move forward knowing what was or is there some other purpose for such memories?


“Jack the Ripper” is the lone episode of The Veil with Karloff featuring in the bookends only, and the production differences are apparent. However, Victorian spiritualism and professional clairvoyants make for an interesting spin on the Whitechapel theme with brief flashbacks accentuating the predictions and dreamy, eerie quality. The violence is unseen, but reading the scandalous newspaper reports on the crimes create reaction and believability. While the viewing order of the episodes is irrelevant, random VHS or video releases and an elusive two disc DVD version billed as Tales of the Unexplained can make watching The Veil in its entirety a tough, frustrating hunt. Fortunately, it’s also fun to discover new old television thanks to today’s technology, and The Veil is available on Amazon Prime – complete with subtitles! The transposed episodes and mislabeled descriptions, however, are confusing without a third party list, and Amazon is also missing two more episodes of The Veil which can be found on Youtube. The Veil’s original pilot “The Vestris” aired as an episode from another anthology series Telephone Time, and wow, that show has some fifties hallmarks complete with a housewife dreaming of dancing to her new dial tone! Thankfully, sailor songs, fog, phantom coordinates, and ominous quarter bells give “The Vestris” a proper shipbound atmosphere. A lady on board bodes of misfortune, and Karloff’s appearance doesn’t disappoint. “Whatever Happened to Peggy” has familiar people, places, and young lady not who she seems to be. Her memory difficulties and escalating coincidence make for a creepy and unexpected cap on The Veil.


The mid-century cars and fashions look sweet, and The Veil uses period settings and Victorian panache to fit the time as needed. Somehow, big skirts, bowler hats, and cravats always add to the spooky mood along with candles, gas lamps, and tea sets. Well done music accents the supernatural sophistication, strong characters, and sly drama. The Veil would seem to use its morality before the twist plotting to set itself apart from other anthologies of the era, however Karloff’s unseen series predates One Step Beyond, The Twilight Zone, and The Outer Limits – only the earlier Tales of Tomorrow or Alfred Hitchcock Presents provided competition. Each half hour moves fast, knowing how to be eerie enough to fill the time but not over stay its welcome once we know the twist. Although the introductions could be worded better and Karloff gives a postscript telling what happens next rather than showing it, The Veil admits up front that there will be no explanations. If not for a somewhat limited availability, this much shorter six hours is certainly easier to marathon than Karloff’s own later Thriller series. Where Thriller struggles to fill its sixty minute time with crime or suspense plots and never quite goes full on horror as it could, The Veil uses murder and scandal for a paranormal punchline just like it promises.


Now similar anthology tales of premonitions, ghosts, astral projection, or psychic phenomena will make The Veil obvious for wise speculative viewers – the unfortunate result of it’s previously unviewed shelf life. The small number of episodes leaves The Veil feeling too brief to be of real substance, and its quick run through may leave one lacking or wanting more. Fortunately, the possibilities were here alongside Karloff’s macabre charm, fun mini twists, and surprising paranormal guesses. The Veil may not look like much, but its black and white mood, well told stories, and fantastic toppers are more than enough for a spooky, rainy afternoon marathon anytime of year.


Terror Trax: Gild the Mourn

Posted in News with tags , , , on September 14, 2016 by Horror Addicts Editor


Recently, had the opportunity to interview Gild the Mourn about their music, band, achievements and of course the scariest night of their life. Here’s more… Please introduce yourselves, what you play and how you write your lyrics:

Gild the Mourn: We’re Gild the Mourn, a multi-instrumental two-piece Fairytale themed Gothic Rock band. I (Angel Metro) am the vocalist and my husband, Gopal Metro, does backing vocals and lead guitar. We co-write all of our music together. We play bass, program our synthesizers and produce the tracks in our home studio. Occasionally we pull out a flute, banjo, acoustic guitar, or some strange instrument Gopal built.

We write our own lyrics and they’re highly collaborative.  One of us will generally sit down and write up the skeleton for a song and the other will come in and flesh it out, then we sit down together to polish the whole thing up and make certain the lyrics work well with the music. We take a lot of inspiration for them from mythology and fantasy.

guild the mourn double

HA: What singers or bands inspired you growing up? Who are your favorite artists today?

A – As a child I really enjoyed Rockabilly and Blues inspired music. Elvis was king. Being a huge movie buff I also really liked movie soundtracks. As a teenager I got into Punk, Goth, and Psychobilly. Some of my favorite artists are The Bolshoi, Camouflage, The Cure, A Spectre is Haunting Europe, Mount Sims, Faith and the Muse, Sisters of Mercy, Igorrr, Switchblade Symphony, Dr. Steel, Story of the Running Wolf, Specimen and Rosetta Stone.

G – Pre 1990: Einstuerzende Neubauten, Severed Heads, Skinny Puppy, Sisters of Mercy, Joy Division, Bauhaus, The Cranes, The Cure. 1990-2000: Faith and the Muse, Switchblade Symphony, Bella Morte. Post 2000: Tying Tiffany, O.Children, The Good Natured, HTRK, IAMX, Valravn. Pretty much anything dark in sound. Production wise: Sinead O’Connor (the vocal treatments on her early works are incredible!), Moody Blues (vocal distortion, rich synths, crazy mixing and mastering techniques), Tyrannosaurus Rex’s albums “Unicorn” and “Beard of Stars” (absolutely bizarre music that certainly is not for everyone), in a similarly strange vein PIL’s “Flowers of Romance”,

HA:  When did you first know you wanted to be a musician and how did you start out?

A – I’ve been involved with music throughout my life in one form or another. I sung and played a variety of instruments like bass and saxophone. I applied to attend Berklee College of Music Online in the Fall of last year, and when I received my acceptance letter that’s when I decided to go full force as a musician and build out Gild The Mourn.

G – I have been playing or performing music since I was a little kid, but I don’t think I knew that I wanted to do it professionally until I was about 11, when I first heard the Severed Heads song ‘Army’. I didn’t know music could sound like that, but knew that I wanted to learn how to make more!

Gild the mourn single

HA: What non-musical things inspire your music? Is there a place where you go to be inspired?

A- Gopal and I take inspiration from a lot of the same areas, it’s what drove us to form the band in the way we have. One of my favorite places to become inspired is in the woods. Whether I have an audio book or just my own thoughts, it’s a perfect place to connect and be inspired.

G – Fairytales, folklore, ghost stories, myths, legends, high fantasy, ancient works of religion. Our studio is the best place of inspiration for me, but we did our best to design it that way.

HA:  What’s been the greatest achievement of your band? Or, where was the coolest place to play? Where did you enjoy yourselves the most?

A – Thus far we’ve gotten international airplay, magazine features, and even have been honored by a few of them which has been pretty freaking amazing. One of the most fun things we’ve done was speaking at DragonCon on the Horror Track’s “State of the Goth Scene” panel. We were there with several other musicians, many of them being our friends as well and we had a blast talking about music.

G – So far, we released some songs and people liked them. *grins*  Truly, though, we are deeply grateful to everyone who has supported us to date.

HA: What are your favorite horror movies?

A – The Evil Dead, 28 Days/Weeks Later, Sweeney Todd, Nightmare on Elm Street, Jaws, Silence of the Lambs, Interview With the Vampire, Hellraiser, As Above So Below, The Number 23, Battle Royale, and The Babadook.  Also, an honorable mention for the Attack on Titan Series.

G – Pumpkinhead; As Above, So Below; Alien; The Others; Let The Right One In; Ringu; Dellamorte Dellamore. Pretty much any quality supernatural or sci-fi horror.  Recently watched the short film, The Birch, and absolutely loved it!

HA:  What was the scariest night of your life?

A – We recently had a family member pass away and without going into detail watching someone walk out and not come back, well that’s pretty damn scary.

G – It’s been quite a while since I last truly felt scared.  I haven’t had anyone threaten or try to kill me recently, which is a good thing. I also haven’t felt haunted in quite some time; also a good thing.  Even in the worst of times, I always trusted that I would make it out okay.  Thankfully, that has been true so far. As a husband and father, though, the biggest fears I have are for the safety and wellbeing of my wife and son.  Not too dramatic, I’m afraid, but honest.  If anything ever happened to either of them, I would truly be heartbroken.

HA: What is available now that the listeners can download or buy? What is the website they can find it on? What is the best social media site for listeners to connect with you on? Twitter? Facebook? Instagram? Other? Bandcamp? What are your id’s/ web addresses?

A- You can find all of our music, including our album “I-VIII” on our website:, and you can also sign up for our mailing list there to get the latest news and freebies!

As far as social media goes we are all over the place and love connecting with fans! We’re most active on Facebook, so connect with us at:

We’re also really active on Instagram, which gives some fun behind the scenes and daily life content. You can check us out here:

You can follow us on YouTube to catch our upcoming vlog here:

guild the mourn shadow

HA: If you could play anywhere in the world, where would it be and who would be your opening band?

G-Once we get on the road, we would love to play Wave Gotik Treffen; any slot would be awesome.  Same goes for Whitby Goth Weekend.  Opening slots for The Cure, Peter Murphy, Faun or Depeche Mode would all be a dream. Truly, we would love to play shows with any other band in any genre that’s devoted to what they do and who are open to cross-genre pollination.  Music, art, film-making, writing, they are all about passion, dedication and storytelling!

A- We’re also planning on playing within the convention scene.We have an avid love for comics and videogames as do our fans, so we will definitely be making some con appearances!

HA: What are you working on now for future release? Are you on tour? Where can they see you?

A- The next big thing we’re working on is the release of our 2nd music video for our song “Greed”. We’re really looking forward to sharing the video with our fans. We’ve had a killer team to help us make it reality and we’ve also bought back Sam Eberle who some fans may recognize as the videographer from our 1st video “Shade”. Sam is crazy talented and we’ve been really fortunate to work with him.

We’re also developing a crowdfunding campaign with kickass perks so fans can help support us on the road for our first tour! We’ll have it launched later this year and we’re shooting to be on the road in the Spring/Summer of 2017. There will be lot’s of merch including the the Deluxe Edition of “I-VIII” on CD, our first physical release ever!

If you want to see us live get in touch with your local promoter, venue, or band and let them know! We are open to play pretty much anywhere as long the logistics work and it fits in schedule wise. You can contact us about playing your next show at:

We’re also shooting to launch of our vlog soon, so even if you can’t catch us in person you’ll be able to interact with us Youtube. You’ll be able to ask us questions, leave comments, and maybe get a shout out too!

About the song Greed:

A- Greed is about a person’s greed manifesting into an entity and consuming them, which ultimately leads to their demise, or rebirth depending on how you take it. It’s written from the entity’s perspective as it confronts them. Having a King or another person being consumed by want or a magical object is a common theme in fantasy, so it was a relatively easy song to craft. While composing the music for it I had some personal matters that related to these stories, and it also inspired me to take it in that direction. We released it in February 2015 and are releasing the music video this Fall! Keep an eye out for it by subscribing to our YouTube channel at:


Morbid Meals – Tribute to Se7en – Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2016 by Dan Shaurette



It would be a deadly sin to stuff your face with box pasta and canned sauce. Or worse—canned spaghetti—like that poor bastard in the thriller, Se7en. Besides, I think we’ve had enough tomato recipes for now.

What I love about Carbonara is that I can avoid the usual acidic tomato sauces and also not go down the Alfredo route that can give lactose-intolerant folks grief. Like most Italian dishes, there are many ways to prepare this dish. Carbonara is an Italian-American creation dating back to WWII, and as such, recipes vary wildly. This recipe makes the preparation a great deal simpler than the “traditional” method but it is still delicious and different than the usual pasta night.

Spaghetti Carbonara


Yield: 4 to 6 servings


1 lb spaghetti, cooked – reserve 1/4 cup of the water
3 large eggs
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lb pancetta or slab bacon, cubed or sliced into small strips
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped (or 1/2 tsp of garlic powder)
black pepper, freshly ground


  • Mixing bowl
  • Large Saucepan
  • Colander / strainer


  1. Cook your spaghetti by the directions on the package. Do NOT strain immediately. Take the pot off the heat but keep the pasta hot in the water while you prepare your sauce.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat your eggs and parmesan cheese together well, breaking up any lumps of cheese. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat your olive oil over medium heat. Add the pancetta/bacon and sauté to render the fat and make the bacon a little crispy, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic; if you are using chopped garlic, sauté until the garlic is soft, about a minute. Remove your saucepan from the heat.
  4. Reserve about 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Drain the rest from your pasta and add the noodles to your saucepan, tossing together to evenly coat all of the noodles.
  5. Pour your egg and cheese mixture over the pasta in the saucepan and toss it all together, allowing the eggs to thicken without scrambling. Add a little bit of water as needed to melt the cheese into a velvety smooth consistency.
  6. Season with the black pepper, from a pepper mill if you have one.
  7. Serve the pasta with a side dish of extra cheese to sprinkle on as desired.


I was worried when I mixed the cheese in with the eggs as it made a thick paste at first. However, once the water was added later, it smoothed out into a rich, luscious sauce.


We will make this many times over. The kids loved the sauce. I was afraid they would turn their noses up at the eggs, but the sauce does not taste of eggs. All you taste is Parmesan and bacon. So basically heaven on pasta.

Guest Blog: The Artwork 5 by James Goodridge

Posted in News with tags , , , on September 12, 2016 by Horror Addicts Guest


The Artwork 5



James Goodridge


Mr. West we have been over this before. I feel sorry to say but I have no further information on Stacey sorry.” Mr. Bashir was truly sorry but pensive for he had other realty business to attend to.

I apologize, but I’m at my wits end.” Jamal West said. “Goodbye.”

Jamal ended the call and put his Smart phone back in his suit pocket. The chill of an early spring afternoon had no affect on Jamal sitting on one of a string of long benches along Battery Park City Plaza , the benches were a favorite place for Stacey and Jamal to meet up at. Staring up to Stacey’s former condominium windows on the 23rd floor, Jamal still could not come to grips with her disappearance .the whole strange affair replayed in his mind god knows how many times.

The crappy portrait of the clown she brought. Stacey freaking out, but not wanting to rid herself of it. The night she hit him Jamal , with a hammer and something inside of the painting slashing the top of his hands. The heartbreak of how in hindsight he should have stay with her the day she vanished.

No next of kin made Stacey out to be an enigma. As for Stacey’s friends Millie and Flora the mystery deepened. Flora claimed she never met or knew of a Stacey Allen, Millie Riggs or Jamal West.

While the Millie Riggs, he looked up on the internet resembled an older version of the Millie he knew, this Millie lived in retirement on the west coast, a former actress and daughter of pioneering black television actor and circus clown; Wexford Riggs.

Questions, questions and more questions from the NYPD missing persons bureau. They the police took the case to the next level due to the concierge’s desk area video camera caught the image of Stacey entering the building that strange afternoon. Jamal could be vouched for that he was at work by coworkers. But in all the case was becoming cold like the ice cubes in Jamal’s drinks which had intensified on a daily basis edging towards a problem with his job performance at work.

The white cap waves jumping along the Hudson river shook Jamal back to reality. The view of the waves gave Jamal’s mind a brief cascade of tranquil feelings until he remembered , the MPB detective hinted that Stacey may well be at the bottom of the river.



I told you again and freakin’ again I never met you, I have never met anyone named Stacey Allen and I sure don’t know a Millie Riggs!” Flora was trying to keep her temper in check.

But I have pictures of all of us on my phone.” Jamal said.

I don’t care what so called pictures, you have on your phone!”

But Millie was your girl friend.”

Ok! OK!” I’m only going to tell you this once. Nothing against gay folks, but I like men, but after dealing with you and not to mention my ex- boy friend Manny, I may have to rethink my feelings about men. I’m sorry for your lost but do NOT… , I mean no more calls, texts, letters. I’m blocking your number, GOOD BYE !” On her end Flora ended the call and flipped the phone onto her couch.

Jamal took another sip out of the glass tumbler of gray goose on the rocks and scrolled through the picture section of his Smart phone. The pictures of him and Stacey were now oddly enough selfies of himself and a fuzzy orange blur. Even more disturbing , was in one of the pictures taken at a cafe , if you looked past their image you could see a grumpy faced Flora working as a barista serving coffee.

The hell is going on, this is not right. Damn it ,its not right!” Jamal shouted as he flung the tumbler against the wall , in his trendy apartment, glass, vodka and cold case ice scattering about.

The next day at Dunkirk Capital a hung over Jamal decided to play a last ditch hunch about Stacey but waited until he got home to work on it.

Research on Millie Riggs turned up the following information for different internet research engines :

Millie Riggs actress, art collector (b. 1940) daughter of Wexford Riggs(b.1920-d.1992) African American television actor and Cole Bros. circus clown.

Ms. Riggs has appeared in the following television shows : Gidget, Shindig, Room 222, The Time Tunnel, The Bold Ones, The Flip Wilson Show, Beat The Clock (game show), Good Teimes, Murder She Wrote, The Slappy White Show, The Bob Newhart Show, NYPD Blue

Movies : In The Heat of The Night, Coogan’s Bluff, Hit man and Sugar Hill

A further internet search pulled up her Riverside California address and phone number. Jamal waited until the middle of the week, to get up the courage to call Ms. Riggs around 6pm east coast time so as to not make a pest of himself and interrupting her dinner.

Hello Ms. Riggs ?” Nervousness pulled at his throat.

Who’s this? Hello?” a firm younger voice challenged on the other end.

Ms. Riggs?”

Which Ms. Riggs are you trying to reach?”

Ms. um… Ms. Millie Riggs.”

No this is not Millie Riggs. This is her granddaughter Celeste Riggs.” Celeste hated telemarketers. “ May I help you ?”

My name is Jamal West and I’m with Dunkirk Asset Management and I…”

Sorry Mr. West I ,can assure you my grandmother would not be interested in anything your selling.” Jamal did not like the sound of that. Did he somehow miss her death notice?

No wait! I’m not selling anything. In truth I doing research for a book I am writing about black entertainers in Hollywood during the 1960’s and 1970’s.” Jamal would toast himself later with a tumbler of vodka for thinking up such a good lie in such quick time.

Oh and what you want to do, interview her about her career?” Celeste’s softened a bit demeanor.

Yes and her father’s career, I may add. I loved see his reruns on television.” Jamal was reaching.

Really ? I tell you what Mr. West, Grand ma’s out in the garden right now tending to her flowers; and when she comes in she’s usually tired, but I promise if you call back tomorrow around this time I think she will be up for talking to you. It has been awhile since anyone has asked about her and her father’s career.”

Well thank you. I’m sorry I didn’t— oh right Celeste is your name right ?”

Yes Celeste , Her granddaughter both of my parents are no longer with us.”

Sorry to hear that.” Jamal quickly wiped the sweat of the face of his smart phone.

Its ok , my parents are not dead as far as I know they just up and left ten years ago, left me, grandma and what she was to leave them in her will. She had the will changed last year. But this is way too much information, right now , call back tomorrow for the answers to your questions goodnight Jamal.” how Celeste ended a phone call even reminded him of Stacey.

This is not me.”Mumbled Jamal before draining his glass.


Thursday evening.

Hello Stace—I’m sorry Celeste.” The voice thrashing in his mind stopped just enough , to remind him to be cool.

Hi Jamal. Oh that’s ok.” if anything Celeste was unfazed by Jamal’s name mix up.

Is Ms. Riggs available?”

Yes here she is .”the sound of a phone changing hands could be heard.

Oh honey you can set that glass down right there , thank you.” after the sound of a sip. “Hello Mr. West ? Millie Riggs here. Celeste has told me you want to go down memory lane with me about me and my dad’s careers in movies and television. Is that right ?” Millie said in her best stage voice.

Yes Ms. Riggs hello. I guess Celeste to you about my research and future book, I also would ah, like to ask you questions about you art collection.”

As if a tiny cloud passed over the phone connection, Millie’s mood became tentative. “Not too many people knew of the collection except for a vague reference in a Jet magazine interview in the 70’s, I did.”

For the next twenty minutes, Millie went on about her and her father’s careers and how it was to grow up black in Hollywood. Jamal waited for the right time to ask her about Stacey. Jamal did find it odd that he actually jotted down some of Millie’s golden memories, down on a piece of paper he fund crumbled on his coffee table.

Mr. West your not really interested in me and my father Wexford’s career are you ?”

Uh yes, yes I am ma’am.” Jamal stammered. Ms. Riggs stage voice now had an intimidating tone over the phone to Jamal.

Your lying Mr. West because if you knew anything about my father you would know that my father never performed as “ Booby the Clown” on television. He felt Booby was a step back for him. Wasn’t until he was inducted into the circus clown hall of fame, in Milwaukee in 1981, that he put that god forsaken grease paint on one last time. He even had a fight with Cole Bros. early in his career because they originally wanted him to perform in black face, which he refused to do.” another sip could be heard, Jamal imagined a glass of white wine in front of Millie as she continued. “ Now what is it you really want Mr. West?”

I want Stacey back. I love her.”

Who’s Stacey honey ?” Millie asked.


Jamal recounted everything that had transpired last year and this year. When he got to the parts of the macabre tale in which he described the kitsch clown painting and the younger version of her, Millie gasped both times over the phone. In the end, her end of the phone became silent.

Hello Ms. Riggs ?”

I think you need to come out to the west coast Mr. West , I maybe be able to help you.” Millie offered before taking another sip, of whatever she was imbibing.


Bleary from a red rye flight to the west coast, shots of energy drinks with a nip of vodka , Jamal made his way from LAX to Riverside in a rented black Honda Pilot.

Ms. Riggs had made her royalties earnings and her father’s estate holdings work for her towards a ranch and other properties. Being a sharp business woman she now enjoyed life just outside of town. As Jamal pulled up a very regal looking woman in blue jeans , crisp white tee shirt smudged with top soil, white deck sneakers approached the rental car. Jamal gripped the steering wheel of the pilot tight as this older version of the phantom Millie Riggs that he and Stacey knew back in New York waved to him.

Mr. West you look tired , she said opening the door for him. “ How was your trip?”

I’ll be ok. Jet lag you know.” At least Jamal tried to fresh up in the airport men’s room and pop a breath mints in his mouth during the drive.

I’ll have one of the care takers bring any bags you have in to the house.” she said beckoning a stout Latino ranch hand. The ranch hand ambled towards the Honda .

In truth I checked in to a road side motel my bags are there. Jamal said as he followed her through the front door. Millie waved the ranch hand off , who silently went back to his chores.

Millie led Jamal into a spacious living room area well furnished with high end antique furniture. Celebrity photos were strategically place around the room. Two Emmys stood guard on the mantle over the fire place one presented to her, the other to her father for their work in television.

You see Jamal the Buck Zorba I knew was a magician and a friend of my father and me all those years ago in Cole bros. circus, Buck fancied himself and artist too.” Millie was seated next to Jamal on a sofa, as if they knew each other for years.

By the way where is your granddaughter Celeste, she was so nice on the phone.” Jamal asked trying to hide his real motive.

Celeste is in town running some errands for me with my great grandson Shawn she’ll be back in a few minutes.”

I would like to meet her.”

The clown painting of my father , what did you say happened to it.”

I don’t know. I never thought to ask building management what exactly did they do with it , I think I was afraid to.” Jamal confessed.

Come child I have something to show you.” Rising up off the sofa Millie took Jamal by the hand and led him down a hallway to two dark wood sliding doors. Pressing a sequence of numbers on a touch key pad on the wall to the right side of the doors, the sound of a bolt unlocking gave them the go ahead to enter the room. Light fixtures in the ceiling blinked on exposing about thirty 3feet by 2 feet canvas paintings under a loose tarp. Some type of climate control system hummed in the background giving the room the feel of a museum, yet still under alterations like an art exhibit being readied for the public, although both Millie and Jamal knew that would never happen.

Buck kept sending my father these paintings up to when he passed away , while in retirement down in Tampa in 1974.” Millie was still holding on to Jamal’s hand.”At first my father humored Buck by taking them, not wanting to break the heart of an old magician , who lost himself to drink, but then my father noticed these paintings had some strange aura, I tried to tell him back in 1954 when I was a child. I remember having nightmares about New York in what was the future to me back then.” Millie seemed relieved to be sharing this with Jamal. “ Now each of these paintings has some type of …. oh I don’t know lord, something going on within them. Help me pull the tarp back love, I mean Jamal.”

Grandma!” Celeste called out her and Shawn her son came into the house shopping bags in their hands.

Stacey!” Jamal yelled letting go of the tarp and running to the house vestibule at the sound of Stacey’s voice. For a second Millie was jealous, for she was attracted to the young man, but given the situation she understood. Following behind him, although Millie was fit for her age , she could not keep up.

Stacey !?” Jamal stopped and fell to his knees.

Celeste had no resemblance to Stacey at all. Wearing a denim outfit ,long raven black hair that ran down her back instead of auburn twists, Celeste was petit and part native American who favored her absent mother in looks. Standing still in fear while, Shawn who was big for his years moved along side her to protect her. Celeste’s shopping bags dropped to the floor.

Jamal dropped to the floor too.


Two days later…

Everything was packed into the back of the pilot for the drive to LAX and in turn the flight back home. Obsession had evolved into embarrassment , when Jamal had passed out, after seeing that Celeste was not Stacey. A trip to a nearby emergency room and a day’s rest had got Jamal back to reality. Just as Jamal opened the car door to get in, a silver SUV pulled up behind him , in front of the motel entrance.

Mr. West please wait a minute please.” Celeste was calling from the driver’s side window. Shawn as silent as usual was in the back seat in a Los Angeles Angel’s jersey and cap, blue denim shorts and Nikes listening to something on his phone, ear buds in ears. Facial features and hair like his mother , but with green intense eyes like his great great grandfather.

Again I’m sorry for putting you and your grandmother through my madness.” said Jamal not really making eye contact, the shame was just too much.

Celeste ignored the apology coming around where he stood and handed a Fed Ex shipping receipt. “ Here Mr. West my grandmother and I have shipped to you two pieces of artwork that should help you in this time of hurt, we have made arrangements for the work to be delivered ,after you have had time to get back to the east coast. Once you see the paintings you will know what to do.” and with that Celeste climbed back into her SUV.

But wait a minute … what are these paintings, but I didn’t get to see any back at the ranch in the room ?” said Jamal.

Oh yes and one more thing, never come back to Riverside Mr. West.” Celeste said and as if on cue Shawn pulled his ear buds out of his ears and glared at Jamal as they pulled off from the curb.

Days later the paintings arrived at Jamal’s apartment. Unpacking the first artwork he took one look and knew what had to be done. Rushing out to any store that had packing material, Jamal repackaged the painting and had FedEx pick it up and shipped to a new address. For the other painting Jamal waited until nightfall to unpack it and hang it on his living room wall, this done in fear. Tears running down his cheeks and blubbering like a child Jamal sat back on his couch.

This is you babe!”

The canvas oil painting of Stacey had her nude and reclining on a zebra skin rug her auburn hair now a large perfectly round afro , gold necklace and bracelets around her wrist nail and toes painted a neon orange. Behind her in the background psychedelic swirls of tangerine, peach, blood red, yellow and pink, pulsated expanded and contracted, the style of the artwork like an old “Groovy Ghoulies” filmmation cartoon from the early 70’s.

The first distorted notes of Funkadelic’s “Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow” began to mix with the hot colors, foaming and bubbling off of the canvas and on to the floor, like hot wax. Stacey’s brown eyes fixed on Jamal. Movement of her hands beckoning him, hands he had longed to touch since her disappearance last year.

Come babe.” she pleaded.” Come child!” in a voice eerily like that of Wexford Riggs aka Booby the clown.

Damn Stacey I ….”

It was quick.

Stacey’s fingernails raked across Jamal’s face, drawing blood and blinding him. before he could react she raked him a bloody mess again from the other side of his face and snatched him into the painting.


Jamal bolted upright in bed, disoriented by his surroundings for a moment. Morning sunlight peeked down into his basement apartment through the small basement window. He was sweaty and naked in bed. Jamal flinched when he heard the door at the top of the stairs unlock and footsteps tap down the stairs towards him.

Good morning babe you ready for breakfast.”said Stacey holding a bag of groceries and the Brooklyn edition of the New York Daily News in one arm, and her keys in the other hand. Stopping in front of the bed Stacey wearing an old purple sweater ,jeans, white P.F flyer sneakers and a pink bandana to hold her afro in place, dropped the news paper on the bed , the back page head line screaming about the matchup between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Baltimore Orioles and how the 1971 World Series should be a good one. She sensed something was wrong.

Another nightmare about NAM ?” Stacey said reminding him of his horrific tour of duty in Vietnam a year ago in 1970.


What was it then babe ?” Stacey said.

I … I dreamed that I lost you.” said Jamal formerly known as Leroy West while eyeing a landscape painting of a ranch home hanging on the wall.

That’s so sweet.” Stacey giggled, she figured she would leave it at that.” She was concerned though when Jamal had these nightmares. “Well how about some breakfast to take your mind off of it?” Putting the bag down on a make shift coffee table ,she came over the to the side of the bed a planted a kiss on Jamal’s forehead.

Going into the bathroom and turning on the light Jamal sized himself up in the mirror.

This is me.” He said to his mirror image.



Flora Green pulled the large package the Fed Ex person delivered into her apartment. Unpacking it revealed a painting of a harlequin clown from the commedia dell’arte done up in purple , silver and white against a black background. Sad looking , it seemed like she recognized the face from somewhere.

Shit its from that Jamal West. I guess he calls himself sending this as a peace offering.” she thought. After some internal debate Flora decided to keep it. Even if she decided to send it back there would be no Jamal West to send it back to.

Plus there’s something about the artwork she was being drawn to.


Nightmare Fuel – The Philip Experiment

Posted in News with tags , , , on September 11, 2016 by D.J. Pitsiladis

Hello Addicts,

We’ve all heard theories on what ghosts are.  Generally speaking, they are viewed as either spirits of dead people, remnants of energy stuck in a constant loop, or demons sent to torment us.  In the 1970’s, an experiment was conducted that showed another way to view ghosts, as literal creations of our minds.

In 1972, a group of scientists gathered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with the premise of creating a ghost through intense concentration.  They came up with an intricate back story for the ghost, which included some details of his death, and gave him the name Philip Aylesford.  For weeks, nothing happened.  Eventually, they decided to try recreating the atmosphere of a classic spiritualist séance, much like the ones attended by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his wife.  In these séances, the scientists surrounded themselves with items from Philip’s era, along with photographs of the kind of castle they imagined he’d live in.  A few more weeks passed without any success, and then it happened.  Philip communicated with the scientists.


It began simple.  The scientists would ask questions about the history created for the spirit, and the ghost responded using a series of knocks and raspy whispers to confirm his identity.  After that, the phenomena increased with each session in ways not easily explained by science.  Philip would slide the table from side to side and was known to chase people with it from time to time.  In each case, the scientists claim that no one was touching the table at the time.  In the end, the group was unable to conclusively prove whether Philip was their creation, or some other entity portraying the character they expected to find.

The existence of ghosts tends to be a more personal experience and belief.  They may be spirits of the deceased, creations of our own minds, or a figment of our imaginations. The only true variable is who you ask.

Until next time, Addicts…

D.J. Pitsiladis